Sewickley Academy players pleased with another successful tennis season

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Sunday, May 28, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Sewickley Academy left little doubt as to why it was the No. 1 seed in the WPIAL Class 2A boys tennis tournament.

The Panthers defeated No. 6 Winchester Thurston, 4-1, in the WPIAL finals May 10 at Washington & Jefferson’s Janet L. Swanson Tennis Center.

It was the 24th WPIAL boys tennis championship won by the Panthers and the first since 2018.

“We’ve been getting better all season, and I think we were able to show that off in the WPIAL playoffs where I think we played our best tennis of the season,” said sophomore Severin Harmon, SA’s No. 1 singles player. “The team had high expectations coming into the season, and I think we’re all very pleased and satisfied with how it’s gone.”

The Panthers are coached by Whitney Snyder, who is in his 32nd season at Sewickley and has built one of the great dynasties in WPIAL history.

The Panthers won 16 consecutive section crowns from 2003-18 and were WPIAL titlists 15 years in a row from 2004-18. The run of consecutive team championships is the second-longest streak in any sport in WPIAL history.

Snyder, a Sewickley graduate, also has led the Panthers to the state finals eight times, winning titles 2006, 2016 and 2017.

Against Winchester Thurston, senior Jonathan Varghese and sophomore Sebastian Tan won at No. 2 and No. 3 singles for Sewickley.

The Panthers’ doubles pairs of senior Spencer Krysinski and junior Jackson Quigley, and senior Alexander Quigley and sophomore Jason Chen, also were victorious.

“I think we did a great job this season. The boys brought their all throughout the playoffs, playing with grit and passion,” Krysinski said. ”We didn’t come home with the state chip but I think everyone would call it a successful season nonetheless. We just took it a day at a time. You know it’s all about relationships, really. We love coach Whit.”

Winchester Thurston freshman sensation Austin He, the WPIAL 2A singles champion, beat Harmon at No. 1 singles.

Harmon lost a total of four games en route to the finals and defeated No. 3 Jackson Gillespie of Aquinas Academy in two sets in the semifinals.

After a first-round bye, Sewickley, which returned to Class 2A this season after four years in 3A, cruised into the championship round with 5-0 victories against Hampton and North Catholic.

Winchester Thurston defeated No. 11 Indiana, 5-0, No. 3 South Park, 5-0, and No. 7 Chartiers Valley, 4-1, in reaching the finals for the first time.

Sewickley Academy advanced to the PIAA playoffs, where the Panthers bowed out May 20 to Lancaster Country Day in the semifinals at the Hershey Racquet Club. Sewickley (13-3) lost to the District 3 champion, 3-0, after rolling past Moravian Academy in the quarterfinal round.

Lancaster Country Day, which finished undefeated, won both doubles matches in straight sets against SA, along with the No. 2 singles match, to secure the victory against the Panthers.

The team from Lancaster went on to claim the PIAA crown by edging Lower Moreland, 3-2, in the championship round.

Lancaster ended up 21-0 overall.

In earlier tournament action, Sewickley won a 4-1 decision against District 11 champ Moravian Academy (15-2) in the PIAA quarterfinals.

The Panthers swept all three singles matches with Harmon and Tan winning in straight sets. Varghese captured a three-set battle at No. 2 singles.

Chen and Alexander Quigley also were victorious at No. 2 doubles for the Panthers, who won their first-round state playoff match against Somerset (9-4) by a 5-0 score.

Harmon finished as the WPIAL runner-up as the second seed in the Class 2A singles tournament this season.

Harmon won three matches prior to the WPIAL finals, defeating South Park freshman and No. 15 seed Jonah Jasek, Valley senior and No. 7 Nicholas Bussard, and Aquinas Academy junior and No. 3 Jackson Gillespie.

Varghese also qualified for the WPIAL singles tournament as the eighth seed. Varghese beat Charters Valley senior and No. 9 Liam Pederson in the first round.

It was an all-Sewickley final in the Section 4 singles tournament this year, as Harmon defeated Varghese, 6-2, 4-6, 6-0, in the championship match. Harmon was ranked first in the section while Varghese was third.

Tan and Alexander Quigley won the section doubles tournament, beating the No. 2-ranked duo from Beaver in three sets in the championship round.

Tan and Alexander Quigley secured the No. 1 seed in the WPIAL doubles tournament.

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